September 22 marks the official start of the fall season. Beginning in 1994, however, this autumnal day is also recognized as National Public Lands Day and Tennessee has several ways for you to celebrate our beautiful landscape and contribute to its conservation.
Together, Tennessee State Parks, Friends Groups and Tennessee State Natural Areas are hosting a variety of volunteer stewardship projects, as well as free hikes and interpretive programs.
This year, a variety of events and service projects are planned for Sept. 22, including litter clean-ups, trail maintenance activities, ranger-led hikes and canoe floats. Events will be held at different times throughout the day and some parks are hosting multiple events. Last year, more than 1,000 people participated in this day of service.
“We invite Tennesseans of all ages to join us in showing respect and appreciation for the beautiful public lands we call home,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Conservation Brock Hill.
In recognition of the valuable role our public lands play for Tennessee’s environment and economy as well as the strong volunteer spirit that’s alive and well across our state, Gov. Bill Haslam has also urged Tennesseans to partake in the National Day.
Now in its 25th year, NPLD is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, which make up over 30 percent of America’s landscape.
If you are interested in how you can be a part of NPLD in your community or would like more information, including a list of hikes and events statewide, visit https://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/national-public-lands-day-hikes/.